"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Cookie Observational Drawings

This was an observational drawing lesson I did a while back with a mixed grade level class consisting of students from Grades 4 all the way up to Grade 12! 
This was an options class that students could choose to take, hence, I get my 
most dedicated artists in the class.

I bought a box of the classic fruit creme cookies (on sale!!)
They have both nice lines as well as a pop of colour. I love the classic vintage look of these.
The good thing about these cookies is that they never go off so they lasted three weeks no problem!

I turn off all the lights in my classroom and have the students rely on the natural light that comes from the large window at the end of my room. It's helpful to have only one light source when you're doing any type of observational drawing.

Some students are working on their chess piece observational drawing as well.
 Students had to complete three drawings: a simple line contour, a shaded drawing and 
then a colour version using coloured pencils on black paper.




Once they were all completed, they mounted them onto a sheet of black paper.
Each drawing took at least one class period (40 minutes).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fibonacci Spirals

I teach a class on Fridays called "MART" which is essentially art projects inspired by Math. Students from Grades 4-6 can choose to take this class. So for this project I was inspired by THIS watercolour painting.

Before beginning, we watched a couple of videos to help the students learn about the Fibonacci number sequence and to learn how to draw the spiral.

This one below, by the amazing Vi Hart, absolutely blew our minds. Not only is she a genius at Math, she's an excellent artist!

The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers in the following sequence:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ... and so on

The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it.

The Fibonacci sequence is named after Italian mathematician Fibonacci. His 1202 book Liber Abaci introduced the sequence to Western European mathematics although the sequence had been described earlier in Indian mathematics

The Fibonacci numbers appear everywhere in Nature, from the leaf arrangement in plants, to the pattern of the florets of a flower, the bracts of a pinecone, or the scales of a pineapple.

The Fibonacci sequence leads to the golden ratio and spirals. The Fibonacci Spiral is a special spiral, a self-similar curve which keeps its shape at all scales (if you imagine it spiraling out forever).

So, starting on graph paper, students wrote the number sequence at the top of the paper to refer to.

They also got handout to help them along the way. 

I only managed to get to, I think 13, before I got flustered and confused as to which way to go on my paper. But most of the students really got it (I am terrible at Math!!) and made quite large spirals- up to poster size.

Some students went really large and had to tape 6 sheets of graph paper together
 as you can see below!

Once the spiral was drawn correctly on graph paper, students traced their design, using a window (a great alternative to a light table) onto good copy paper (heavy white paper).

Then we used the bleeding markers watercolour technique to 'paint' out spirals.
Trace the inside of a section with a line of waterbased markers, then blend over the line using a brush and water. Crayola and Prang markers both work well for this technique.

Some Grade 4,5 results!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Owls & Cats in the Moonlight

This is a fun October/November project that my Grade 4 and 5 students quite enjoyed. It's an oil pastel resist project that I found HERE on the blog "Kids Artists". You can find all the instructions there. We substituted black tempera pucks for the blue ink. The biggest challenge was getting the kids to draw their animal nice and big, so it wouldn't get 'lost' amongst the tree and branches.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Papier-mâché: "Foods with Moods"

"Sassy Strawberry"

This is a fun papier mache project I only do every few years or so, my "Foods with Moods". It's inspired by THIS book which I own and love reading to my students.  

I will fully admit papier mache projects are not my favourite to teach. I love how they turn out in the end, but I find it such a time consuming process, with loads of drying time in-between, Plus I find my elementary/middle school students struggle with doing the papier mache technique well. They always want to rip huge sheets of newspaper in order to find a 'faster' way of covering the form. I find, in general, they don't have the patience needed to make really refined papier mache sculptures. I think, in the future, I'm going to teach this to older grades. Currently, I taught this to a mixed grade level class of Grades 4-6 students.

So first I read the story to the kids to inspire them. Then they need to decide on any type of food (fruit, veg, candy, whatever) and decide on a 'mood' for their food. 
Using newspaper, scrunch it up into the relative shape of the food. 
Tape it all together using masking tape. Then scrunch up different features (eyes, mouth, etc) and tape those on securely.

I've always used wallpaper paste for my papier mache projects- it's cheap, not sticky and wipes off hands and tables easily. The kids say it feels like 'drool', lol. Plus it doesn't go 'off'. I use this Elmer's Art paste and love it. I've found it's almost impossible to find old-fashioned wallpaper paste in hardware stores anymore, so I order the Elmer's stuff now. I store it in Tupperware type containers so the kids can share them at their tables. I demo the old tear the paper into thin strips, dip into paste, wipe off excess and lay onto form. Smooth it down, and always overlap the next strip.

Once covered in newspaper strips, we lay them onto small yoghurt cups to allow for 
maximum air circulation and let them dry overnight.

The next class the kids prime them with white acrylic paint. Time to wait again for it to dry. *sigh*
(have a backup project at this point, unless you have short class periods- mine are 80 minutes long).
Once the base coat is dry, kids paint their food using acrylic paints. I really encouraged them to get the paint into all the nooks and crannies and not to let any base coat show through.

About a year later- just kidding, but it felt like a year- probably 4 weeks later, these were ready. I displayed them in the art room on paper plates during some school-side event. They were a big hit!

this is a broccoli!

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